There are people you cross paths with in your travels who float right past you, leaving you as you were, unaffected. Then there are those who seem to come at the perfect time, in the perfect place, as if the universe had been conspiring all along to make your world and theirs crash together. No matter how much we wonder why, whether it is clear or not, we know deep down it bears a purpose. But in fleeting times like these, and places that shine and hide, all we could do was to follow wherever the next sunrise and sunset took us.
So we did. We did just that.
On a gloomy afternoon we took a bus to this place called San Felipe in Zambales. We stayed at The Circle Hostel for the night, it reminded us of the hostel where we first met in Pai, where it all began. It was dark when we arrived. I followed him as he pulled my hands through the darkness. We sat on the sand, looked up at the stars and sat in silence. The kind of silence that breaks when the ocean crashes and the winds blow whispers in our ears.
The next day we moved to a different guesthouse. Our laughter echoed as we try to balance on the slack line. Then we rented a surfboard and I attempted to surf the waves. After some struggles and a racing heart I decided I should rest and try again next time. I knew I would stand up on the board eventually. But for that day I was fine with trying.
On our way back to our room we saw children playing lutu-lutuan, which means cooking. We exchanged conversations, laughters, giggles, and smiles. They played with fire and cooked leaves in cans, and climbed trees with thin branches. I feel happy seeing them doing this but I couldn’t help but think of the children who will never know this kind of childhood because it is filled with pixelated screens and fabricated music. Children are born to explore and create, it’s a shame that it’s hindered through technology. But I digress, I bring myself back and smile at the happy children in front of me and wish in my heart that their days will always be filled with this kind of happiness.
Then we followed the sunset. The gray clouds brought out pink and purple colors once it was graced by the rays of the sun. It reflected on the waves and created an ethereal periwinkle color. I’ll never get tired of the sunset, even if I tried, it would be almost impossible. May we always feel the grace and beauty of each sunset, wherever we are.
The next day we decided to change our plans. Although we already took a short bus ride to get to our next destination, we spontaneously decided to head up to the north to the Ifugao province to see the Banaue rice terraces instead. So we took a bus to Olongapo and bought our bus tickets to the mountains. We waited and went inside the music store. And I got lost in the sound of his hands + the guitar strings.
Then we went to a park. Where I made him eat balut, fertilized duck egg, a speciality in my culture. I cringed and laughed as I watched.
Then we slept on a cold night bus to Baguio, and woke up before the sun rose. We ate an early breakfast and hopped on a van to the Ifugao province. I hazily opened my eyes up after a deep sleep, yet was astounded when I saw this.
The next day we took a jeepney to Batad. It was filled inside and on top inch by inch by locals, tourists, luggages, and boxes.
And hiked all the way down to the village to get to Ramon’s Homestay…
The next day we did a morning trek with a Chilean couple on the rice terraces all the way to the waterfalls on the other side. There’s not much to say about this place, it rendered me speechless. All I could do was look at the beauty of the earth in front of me. It did nothing but took my breathe away.
Then we slept in a century old hut. It stored antiques and was decorated with skulls and bones on the doorway to ward off evil spirits.
To be continued…